By: Vicki Chappelear

Connections…this is one of my favorite things to watch unfold at the House. We have so many people from diverse backgrounds with seemingly nothing in common…nothing in common, except a child who is in need of medical care.

I have watched families from all over the United States and all over the world come together to offer support for each other. These are families, who never would have met otherwise, come together at the House. Many times there are cultural and language barriers to overcome and yet they do. The strength of these parents is inspiring. The community that is built here is nothing short of amazing. They compare notes, encourage each other through their personal experiences–it’s a connection you only understand if you are walking through it.

I love seeing the camaraderie between the kids. These young people are going through surgeries and procedures that most adults wouldn’t understand and yet, they rally behind each other. I’ve seen hugs given before surgeries, and sympathetic looks showing understanding of the pain they are feeling. I’ve witnessed these unlikely friends from two different countries wear the same necklace with an inspirational message, and then, one friend holding the necklace while the other was undergoing surgery. They have a special bond—they understand the anticipation before and the pain and healing after. These kids are wise beyond their years. These friendships will last forever, all because they had a place to meet and be a kid.


(Pictured are Kathryn and Matthew Newnham from The United Kingdom with their friends, Michelle and Christin Love from North Carolina)